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Best Tom Hanks movies ranked

  • Every Tom Hanks movie ranked from worst to first

    More than just a major movie star, Tom Hanks is a national treasure. Indeed, when the actor isn’t taking the lead in award-winning films, he’s improvising to audiences in Los Angeles playhouses, helping people find their lost possessions, and engaging in a variety of philanthropic endeavors.

    Of course, it’s ultimately as an actor that Hanks will best be remembered, and with good reason. After all, despite his downright approachable persona, the actor has demonstrated some serious range over the course of decades. In return, he’s been rewarded with two Best Actor Oscars, millions upon millions of dollars, heaps of critical praise, and no shortage of fan loyalty.

    For Hanks, the journey into acting began in the early 1970s, when he became enraptured by Eugene O’Neill’s play “The Iceman Cometh.” Suddenly smitten with the craft, Hanks enrolled in the theater program at California State University. Before long, he was starring in the short-lived TV show “Bosom Buddies,” and then catching his big break in Ron Howard’s 1984 hit film, “Splash.” Cementing Hanks’ status as a bona fide movie star was his performance as a teenage boy trapped inside a grown man’s body in 1988’s “Big.” He’s been a veritable A-list talent ever since.

    In his honor, Stacker is using data from IMDb to rank every Tom Hanks movie. Included are all the films in which Hanks had a starring or supporting role, and excluded are any TV movies, short films, uncredited roles, or cameos. The films are ranked from lowest to highest using IMDb rating, with user votes taken into consideration to break any ties. Without further ado, here is every Tom Hanks movie ranked from worst to first.  

    ALSO: Best John Travolta movies 

  • #49. He Knows You're Alone (1980)

    IMDb rating: 4.9

    Runtime: 94 min.

    Director: Armand Mastroianni

    Every big screen career has to start somewhere, and for Tom Hanks, that “somewhere” was this 1980 slasher pic. In the film, a young Staten Island woman is stalked by a vicious murderer, who’s causing some serious hindrance to her upcoming wedding plans. Starring Hanks in a bit role, this was among the first movies to try and (unsuccessfully) capitalize off the success of 1978’s “Halloween.”

  • #48. The Circle (2017)

    IMDb rating: 5.3

    Runtime: 110 min.

    Director: James Ponsoldt

    Based on the popular novel by Dave Eggers, this 2017 film takes place in the not-too-distant future, following a young woman named Mae (Emma Watson) as she works for a Google-like company known as The Circle. What at first seems like a dream job becomes something far more sinister, and soon enough, it’s revealed that The Circle has plans to eradicate privacy forever. At the top of the corporate ladder is Eamon Bailey, a suspiciously optimistic CEO played by Hanks. In spite of the film’s prescient themes, it was panned by fans and critics alike.  

  • #47. Ithaca (2015)

    IMDb rating: 5.5

    Runtime: 96 min.

    Director: Meg Ryan

    Tom Hanks and actress Meg Ryan helped turn films like “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” into genuine smash hits, but that wasn’t enough to save 2015’s “Ithaca” from floundering in every sense of the concept. Helmed by Ryan, the WWII drama centers on 14-year-old Homer Macauley, who’s determined to be the fastest bike messenger in the world. Hanks stars as Homer’s deceased father, and Ryan as his widowed mother.

  • #46. Volunteers (1985)

    IMDb rating: 5.5

    Runtime: 107 min.

    Director: Nicholas Meyer

    On the heels of “Splash,” Tom Hanks spent the mid-80s bouncing around from one critically panned comedy to the next, while nevertheless retaining his reputation as star material. One of those comedies was 1985’s “Volunteers;” the film is about a spoiled rich kid (Hanks) who inadvertently enrolls in the Peace Corps while evading angry debtors. The movie might not have been a success, but it did cement the romance between Hanks and co-star Rita Wilson. Hanks divorced his wife soon after, and married Wilson in 1988.

  • #45. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990)

    IMDb rating: 5.5

    Runtime: 125 min.

    Director: Brian De Palma

    From Tom Wolfe’s classic novel came this disastrous big-screen adaptation. Like the book upon which it’s based, the film explores themes of lust, greed, and racism among the cultural elite in 1980s New York City. Specifically, it tells the story of Sherman McCoy (Hanks), a high-powered bond trader whose life begins to unravel after his mistress (Melanie Griffith) runs over a black teenage boy.

  • #44. The Man with One Red Shoe (1985)

    IMDb rating: 5.7

    Runtime: 92 min.

    Director: Stan Dragoti

    Another comedic misfire from the mid-80s, “The Man with One Red Shoe” sees Hanks playing the role of Richard, a concert violinist who gets stuck wearing mismatched shoes after falling victim to a prank. Due to his unconventional footwear, Richard is chosen at random to play patsy for a corrupt CIA agent; he’s subsequently pursued by the government. Meanwhile, Richard is so consumed by personal problems that he doesn’t even realize his life is at risk.

  • #43. Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)

    IMDb rating: 5.7

    Runtime: 102 min.

    Director: John Patrick Shanley

    Before striking gold with “Sleepless in Seattle,” Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan starred opposite one another in “Joe Versus the Volcano,” an inventive but somewhat underwhelming comedy from 1990. In the film, a hypochondriac named Joe (Hanks) has his worst fears realized when he’s diagnosed with a terminal disease. Rather than wait for the inevitable, Joe agrees to sacrifice himself to a volcano on behalf of an island tribe. As he prepares for the ritual, Joe crosses paths with three different women (all played by Ryan), and makes some important discoveries about life and love.

  • #42. Punchline (1988)

    IMDb rating: 5.8

    Runtime: 128 min.

    Director: David Seltzer

    Released the same year as “Big,” this 1988 film follows aspiring comic Steven Gold (Hanks) as he struggles to make a living in a New York comedy club. While fishing for laughs one joke at a time, Gold forges a bond with fellow comic Lilah (Sally Field), a dedicated housewife with natural comedic talent. What begins as a promising friendship becomes something far more antagonistic when the club hosts a competition, with the prize being the winner’s own TV showcase.

  • #41. Every Time We Say Goodbye (1986)

    IMDb rating: 5.9

    Runtime: 98 min.

    Director: Moshé Mizrahi

    While Tom Hanks would eventually become a versatile talent with genuine dramatic chops, he was almost exclusively a comedic actor in the 1980s. That makes this WWII drama from 1986 an atypical choice for Hanks, and one that didn’t necessarily pan out with critics or audiences. In the film, he plays a Protestant WWII pilot named David who falls for a Jewish girl from Jerusalem, setting the stage for some harrowing conflicts.

  • #40. Nothing in Common (1986)

    IMDb rating: 5.9

    Runtime: 118 min.

    Director: Garry Marshall

    Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason might sound like a match made in comedy heaven, but this 1986 film incorporates its own fair share of drama—to mixed results. Hanks plays a successful ad executive who puts his life on hold to spend more time with his ailing father (Gleason). The film marked Gleason’s final performance: he would pass away the same year it was released.  

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